Our Latest Blog Contest Winner: Twin Studies in Aphids

By Chris Mooney | March 12, 2011 11:09 am

Last week we ran another blogging contest here at “the Intersection,” for attendees of the NSF “Science: Becoming the Messenger” workshop in Lincoln, Nebraska. As you may have noted, a flurry of posts went up on Wednesday–and the objective for the scientists involved was not just to write something good, but also to use social media tools–Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumble, etc–to draw eyeballs to one’s post after it went up.

After all, with so many post going up at once, it was very possible for something really good to nevertheless be missed–without the help of social media, anyway.

It’s fair to say that this time around, judging the contest winner was easy. Not only did one post get the most traffic over the two succeeding days; it was the only post where the traffic logs showed a really dominant use of social media in drawing that traffic–in this case, Facebook.

The post is “Twins with and without wings?” by Jenn Brisson, Cassia Oliveira, and Neetha NV. Congratulations to the Brisson lab for their blogging and social media feat!–and I encourage everyone to go and read their intriguing post on how we study nature and nurture in aphids.

There certainly are some honorable mentions. Krista Forrest’s “Lie to Me, Lie To You: Educating the Public About Police Deception,” was fascinating and drew eyeballs through its title alone.

My personal favorite was “Health Literacy: Are You Smarter Than a Web Page,” by Zara Risoldi Cochrane, which was fourth overall in traffic–but generated some very good comments and was, all around, a great post.

So congratulations to all–and I hope you will continue blogging.

In terms of using social media, by the way, the #nsfmessenger Twitter hashtag was also used about 190 times over the course of the conference–pretty good for a group that was not, for the most part, used to tweeting. So congrats on that front as well!

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs.For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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